Next month will see two new Xbox One features hit our dashboards, but both will be in preview and those in the Preview program will be lucky enough to check this out from today, whilst the rest of us wait until next month. The aims of these new features is to help the Xbox Community feel that bit closer and get us all working and playing together in a way that we didn’t before.
The big one that Microsoft are excited about are Game Hubs. Game Hubs will help you to easily meet and play with other people and the chance to get chatting with the community more, from just other players to content creators, community managers and of course your friends. Each game will have its own hub, where you’ll see who of your friends are playing at the moment, get the chance to compete against them in the leaderboards and check out clips and broadcasts relating to that game. It’s basically a refined version of what we have already in the Friends section, only that it’ll be arranged by game rather than by your friends. Nice idea! In order to view different Game Hubs, you go to My games and apps, hit the Menu button and select View Game Hub. Easy peasy. You can also check out other hubs of games you don’t have yet by searching them on the Xbox One Game Store.
There’s a number of TV updates inbound as well with the OneGuide, but what’s relevant to us are features like the new TV trends, which is exactly as you’d expect a trend to be. Whilst you’re scrolling through, you can see what’s hot in the ‘Trending on Xbox’ note. There’re also new and improved TV controls around controlling TVs and set top boxes thanks to updated databases to make sure everything’s compatible. There’s also the new Trick Play feature, used with the Digital TV Tuner, which means that users will be able to see video frames when fast-forwarding or rewinding paused TV on your Xbox One consoles. Finally, Windows Phone and Android devices will now be able to Live Stream onto their phones via the Digital TV Tuner.
As well as this, there’s also the introductions of the custom backgrounds and tile transparency on your dashboard. So that’s technically three new sets of features, ssh. Anyway, after listening to feedback from users Microsoft will make it possible to set the transparency on tiles on the dashboard so that backgrounds can be seen easier. Some tiles won’t be able to be made transparent due to rights and restriction issues. If you don’t know how already, you can set a custom background by going to Settings > My Xbox > My background.
That’s about all for the February updates. To those in the Preview program, let us know if it’s any good! You can read the full release on the update on Xbox.com.